Academic Catalog

Financial Aid

Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA)

Welcome Center, 42 W. Warren Avenue
P.O. Box 2340, Detroit, MI 48202
Telephone: 313-577-2100, Fax: 313-577-6648 

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) provides need-based and non-need-based financial aid to help eligible students meet the expenses of their education. Financial aid is intended to supplement, not to replace, students' financial resources. Financial need is determined from the information that students submit on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

Information concerning merit scholarships is available on our website. Wayne State University offers a variety of university-wide scholarships that are awarded based on financial need, scholastic achievement, and/or leadership qualities. To apply for university-wide scholarships, current and admitted students can login to search and apply for scholarships. WSU Scholarship Universe connects Wayne State University students to internal and vetted external scholarship opportunities. Note: Scholarships that have need as a criterion require submission of the annual FAFSA.

Service Hours: Walk-in financial aid assistance is provided in the lobby of the Welcome Center Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You also may email or call 313-577-2100.

The Office of Student Financial Aid will send email and notices to your WSU email account. Information about your award and award requirements is available in the Financial Aid Portal in Academica. More information about using Academica is available on our website.

Financial Aid Types

Financial aid at Wayne State University is awarded in the form of a 'package,' or combination of aid sources, and generally consists of four types: grants, scholarships, loans, and employment. The amount of aid a student can receive cannot exceed the estimated cost of attendance. The amount of need-based financial aid that a student may receive cannot exceed their financial need, which is based on the information provided on the FAFSA. Students may be eligible for non-need-based aid in the form of scholarships or unsubsidized federal loans.


Grants are gift assistance awarded on the basis of financial need and do not require repayment. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required. Federal grants include the Federal Pell Grant, the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) and the Federal TEACH Grant.


Scholarships are gift assistance awarded based on academic achievement or other special ability and do not require repayment. For some awards, financial need is a factor and a FAFSA is required.


Loans are money that must be repaid at a future date, usually following graduation or when the student ceases to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis. Federal loans require submission of the FAFSA. Need- and non-need-based loans are available. Need-based loans for undergraduates include the Federal Direct Subsidized loan. Non-need-based loans include the Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan. Parents of dependent undergraduates may apply for a Federal PLUS loan to assist with educational expenses. 

Federal Work-Study

Federal work-study is on- or off-campus part-time employment with eligible employers. Work-study is awarded based on financial need. Students interested in work-study should complete the annual FAFSA. The Work-Study Request Form available on our website. The Student Guide to On-Campus Employment, which explains the hiring process and the terms and conditions of employment is available from the Office of Career Services.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

How and When to Apply for Financial Aid: Each academic year, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and include the WSU federal code, 002329. The federal processor, the U.S. Department of Education will electronically transmit the FAFSA data to the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Help Completing the FAFSA: Help completing the FAFSA is provided online throughout the application process. Help also is available by telephone from the Federal Student Aid Information Center: 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) during regular business hours (Eastern Time), Monday through Friday.

Application Deadlines

Application Priority Date: The application priority date for financial aid consideration at WSU is the date by which the FAFSA should be submitted to facilitate determination of student eligibility for financial aid before the beginning of the fall semester. The priority date is not a deadline. See our website for current information.

The 2024-25 aid year includes the fall 2024, winter 2025 and spring/summer 2025 semesters.

  • You can file the 2024-25 FAFSA starting, January 2024 through June 30, 2025.
  • New first-year undergraduates are encouraged to file the FAFSA early to be considered for all available funding options.

Academic Calendar: At WSU, the spring/summer semester is the third term of the school year. For example: The spring/summer semester 2024 is part of the 2023-24 school year; the spring/summer semester 2025 is part of the 2024-25 school year.

Financial Need Determination

FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS): A summary of your completed FAFSA information. This replaces the Student Aid Report (SAR) that was used in previous years. Based on the FAFSA information, the FSS either states the student's Student Aid Index (SAI) or instructs the student to take additional action which will allow an SAI to be determined. The SAI is used in determining financial need. The FSS also indicates whether the financial aid application has been selected for the verification process.

How Financial Need Is Determined: To determine financial need, OSFA subtracts the student’s student aid index (SAI) from the average cost of attendance (COA) for their program at Wayne State University. A negative SAI is counted as a zero in this formula. COA minus SAI equals financial need. 

Verification: The process by which an educational institution confirms the accuracy of the data reported on an individual student's FAFSA is called verification. The federal processor selects the FAFSA applications for which the data submitted must be verified. If a student is selected for verification, they must provide documentation to confirm the information on the FAFSA.

Note: If an application is selected for verification, the student must complete the verification process before eligibility for financial aid can be confirmed, and before financial aid can be paid.

The Cost of Attendance (COA): The cost of attendance (COA), which is also called a budget, components include: tuition, fees, books and supplies, housing allowance (based on the living arrangements reported on the FAFSA) and miscellaneous expenses. If a loan is awarded, loan fees will be an included component. All students are initially assigned estimated tuition costs and estimated costs for books and supplies based on full-time enrollment status for their academic programs. Financial aid awards are offered based on the estimated budgets. At the time of disbursement, each student’s financial aid award is adjusted based on current enrollment status (full-time, three-quarter time, or half-time). 

The COA may be adjusted to include dependent care directly related to attendance at WSU; costs related to a disability; computer purchase for educational purposes; costs to obtain a first professional license; and an allowance for reasonable costs directly related to one’s program of study.

Michigan Resident and Out-of-State Resident Cost of Attendance: Please access our website for detailed information concerning how student budgets are assigned and cost of attendance component amounts.

Current Tuition and Fees: Tuition and fees are subject to change by the WSU Board of Governors without notice. 

Special Circumstances: The Office of Student Financial Aid recognizes that students may have extenuating financial circumstances that the standard need analysis form (FAFSA) does not consider. Applicants may request a review of extenuating circumstances that they believe affect their financial aid eligibility by submitting a Special Circumstances Appeal Form.

Eligibility and Conditions of Financial Aid

Students must be enrolled in an eligible degree- or certificate-granting program to receive financial aid funds. Enrollment must be at least half-time to be considered eligible for most types of aid. At the undergraduate level, enrollment for six credits is considered half-time and enrollment for twelve or more credits is considered full-time. Some scholarships may require enrollment in fifteen credit hours each fall and winter semester.

Non-degree programs have aid limitations and not all programs are eligible for financial aid. OSFA can provide more information about non-degree programs, including a list of specific certificate programs that are ineligible for financial aid.

Prerequisite coursework aid eligibility is limited. Determination of aid eligibility requires submission of the Prerequisite Coursework Aid Request Form, which is available on our website.

Repeat Coursework

Federal financial aid will pay for only one repeat registration in a course for which the student has previously earned a passing grade. That is, students are only eligible to receive financial aid the first time the course is repeated.

Financial Aid Enrollment Policy and the Census Date

Financial aid recipients are expected to attend all courses throughout the semester. If your participation in class is not confirmed by your instructor, your aid may be reduced or cancelled. The census date is the date on which WSU counts the number of students enrolled at the institution, which is the tenth day of each semester. It is the policy of the Office of Student Financial aid to lock or "freeze" the number of enrollment credits after the census date each semester. After the credits are locked or "frozen," grants and scholarships will not be adjusted (increased or decreased) unless a student withdraws from all classes. Therefore, the number of credits for which a student is enrolled on the census date determines the amount of grant funds that they will receive for the semester.

If, after the census date, a student increases enrollment credits, the grant amount(s) will not be increased. If, after the census date, a student decreases their credits of enrollment, the grant amount(s) will not be decreased. However, if a student withdraws from all classes, federal financial aid regulations require OSFA to determine the amount of financial aid the student has "earned" based on the portion of the semester that has been completed. The "unearned" part of the student's award must be returned to the financial aid program(s) from which the award(s) was/were made. As a result, withdrawing from all classes may cause cancellation of a portion or of all financial aid.

Calculating "Earned" versus "Unearned" Financial Aid

OSFA must follow federal regulations in determining the amount of "earned" versus "unearned" federal financial aid disbursed to a student who then leaves school without completing the semester. The refund percentage is determined by the student's effective date of withdrawal from all classes, which is the last recorded date of attendance.

A student who completes 60% or less of a semester will be considered to have "earned" the same percentage of financial aid as the percentage of the semester completed. The percentage will be calculated by dividing the completed number of days by the total number of days in the semester. The percentage of "unearned" aid will correspond to the percentage of the semester not completed. A student who completes more than 60% of a semester will be considered to have earned 100% of the financial aid disbursed for that semester and no return of federal financial aid will be calculated.

A student has not "earned" all of the financial aid received may be required to repay those funds. Detailed information is provided in the WSU Withdrawals and Return of Title IV Policy.

Enrollment Requirements for Federal Direct Loans

A student must be enrolled at least half-time to receive a federal loan disbursement. At the undergraduate level, enrollment for six credits is considered half-time.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal financial aid regulations require OSFA to apply reasonable standards for measuring whether a student is making progress toward a degree or certificate. The standards, which are called satisfactory academic progress (SAP), must be met for a student to remain eligible to receive financial aid. Academic progress is measured each semester.

WSU Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards are comprised of three components:

  1. The cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 is required at the undergraduate level.
  2. The pace of progress toward the degree or certificate must be at least 67%, which is determined by dividing the cumulative number of credits completed by the cumulative number of credits attempted.
  3. The maximum time frame for completing the degree or certificate, is 150% of the average published length in credits of the program.

Note: Full-time or part-time enrollment is not a factor in determining the pace of progress or the time frame since only credits are the units of measurement.

Financial aid warning status

If you are failing to make satisfactory academic progress, your financial aid eligibility will be reinstated for one warning semester. No SAP appeal is necessary. During the warning semester, you are expected to improve your academic standing and degree progress, to meet standards of SAP at the end of the semester. If you fail to achieve SAP at the end of the semester, you will be denied financial aid beginning the following semester. You may submit a SAP Appeal to request financial aid consideration.

SAP status notification

Check your SAP status in the Financial Aid Portal in Academica. If you are an active student with a FAFSA on file, you will be notified by email if you fail to meet SAP standards.

The WSU Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is available online

Consequences of Withdrawing from Courses

A student's satisfactory academic progress may be affected if the student withdraws from courses during a semester. A student who does not comply with SAP standards may be denied financial aid for subsequent semesters. The university has specific instructions for SAP appeals.

A student who withdraws from all courses may be required to repay a portion of the financial aid received. Please see the section above titled Calculating "Earned" versus "Unearned" Financial Aid. If a student's withdrawal from one or more courses results in less-than-half-time enrollment status, the student will not be eligible for new federal loan funds. At the end of the grace period on the loans received, repayment will begin.

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid governs the policies and procedures for loan repayments, deferment, forbearance, and limits. Detailed information about grace periods and loan repayment is available on the Federal Student Aid website. Students should contact their loan servicer to make repayment arrangements or request a loan deferment or forbearance.

The amount in federal student loans that a student can receive has annual and aggregate limits. Students are strongly encouraged to consider these limits in developing their education plan.

Financial Aid Disbursement

Financial Aid Disbursement: Financial aid (except work-study) is paid in two disbursements if the award is for the academic year (fall and winter semesters). Half of the award is paid in the fall semester and half is paid in the winter semester.

Financial aid recipients are expected to attend courses throughout the semester. Aid will not disburse after courses begin unless the instructor confirms participation in courses. If participation in class is not confirmed, the amount of financial aid may be affected.

Financial aid funds are applied directly to institutional charges (tuition, fees, room and board). Any excess funds will be available within 14 days of the date the credit balance occurs or within 14 days of the first day of classes — whichever is later.

Federal Work-Study Payments: Work-study earnings are paid biweekly in the form of a paycheck. The department in which the student is employed submits a record of the hours worked to the Payroll Office, and the Payroll Office authorizes payments.

Note: Students cannot earn more than the amount of their work-study award. Spring/summer semester is separate from the fall and winter semesters. Unused funds from a fall and/or winter work-study award cannot be earned in the spring/summer semester. 

Enrollment Requirements for Federal Direct Loans: A student must be enrolled at least half-time to receive a federal loan disbursement. At the undergraduate level, enrollment for six credits is considered half-time.

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